The urinary excretion profiles following exposure to pyrene were established in one psoriasic patient under treatment with a coal tar-based shampoo and in two other volunteers exposed to a single dose of 100 microliters creosote and, in a separate experiment, to five consecutive daily dermal applications of 500 micrograms pyrene on 200 cm2 of the inner face of the forearms. Timed micturitions were collected for up to 48 h following exposure. Both in the psoriasic patient and in the volunteers exposed to creosote, the excretion peaks between 10 and 15 h after application and first-order apparent half lives of 11.5-15 h can be calculated for the elimination phase. Compatible with these observations, repeated exposure to pyrene in the volunteers causes an increase in peak and trough urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) values for the first few days following the first exposure. These results suggest that the difference between beginning-of-shift/beginning of work week and beginning-of-shift/end of work week 1-OHP excretions should reflect the average exposure of the week in workers having a constant exposure to pyrene. The difference between the beginning- and end-of-shift excretion values of a given day should reflect the exposure of that day but the maximum excretion would be attained a few hours after termination of exposure.